|Equifax Data Breach – For Your Information|
|On Thursday, September 7, Equifax – one of the major providers of consumer credit services like credit reports and fraud monitoring in the United States – reported a widespread security breach.
What happened and why should I care?
Hackers accessed the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers of 143 million Americans through a security breach at the credit reporting company Equifax. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.
How can I tell if my information may have been compromised?
You can check the potential impact at Equifax’s TrustedID website. You are required to enter the last 6-digits of your Social Security number and your last name, and the site will tell you if there’s reason to believe your information has been stolen.
Most importantly, monitor your credit report. You’re entitled to a free copy of your report from each of the three major bureaus each year (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion).
What should I do if I believe my information has been compromised?
Consider putting a freeze and a fraud alert on all three of your credit reports if your data has likely been stolen. Some states may impose a fee for this, but Equifax is currently waiving the charge.
If you suspect someone is using your identity to open lines of credit, apply for jobs, or other activities, you can file an Identity Theft Affidavit and create an Identity Theft Report with the FTC. You can file online or by phone:
1-877-ID THEFT (877-438-4338) TDD (toll-free): 1-866-653-4261
Equifax provides further details regarding this incident, action steps they are taking, and what consumers can do to protect themselves at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. At this site, you have the opportunity to learn if you may have been personally impacted by this breach. You can also call Equifax at 1-866-447-7559.